Gambling is one of those things that everyone seems to have an opinion on, and they don’t always view it in a good light. With most religious texts specifically mentioning gambling as a vice or a sin, it’s easy to see why some cultures have a deeply ingrained dislike of the activity.

How the Latin American Online Gambling market compares to the UK How the Latin American Online Gambling market compares to the UK Pixabay

Most countries have existing laws which ban gambling outright. However, these often date from centuries ago. Modern gambling has since advanced in ways that couldn’t be predicted, but because of the negative attitudes towards gambling, many countries are reluctant to consider reviewing these laws. This means that outdated laws may no longer cover the entire scope of the industry and opens up loopholes for operators to exploit. Online gambling often exists within these loopholes, as there isn’t a physical casino operating within state borders that can be held accountable.

Colonized by Catholic Spain, Latin America has deep-rooted reasons for disliking gambling activities. While some countries, like Argentina, have embraced the industry, the majority, including Brazil, have been unwavering in their stance that gambling activities should be banned. The 33 countries which make up Latin America are all responsible for regulating online gambling within their own borders, meaning there is no universal law governing them all. Here’s a quick rundown of how gambling is viewed within some of the Latin American Countries.

Gambling in Latin America

The rules on gambling change from country to country in South America.


Brazil is home to more than 200 million people, making it not only the largest country geographically, but also the most populous. Any type of luck-based gambling was banned there in the 1940s, but the introduction of the internet has provided an area for gambling that falls outside the reach of those old laws.

As such, a thriving but unregulated market sprang up, with Brazilians particularly eager to take advantage of online sports betting. This meant the government needed to take action, with two different bills being considered to address this issue: legalize land-based gambling. However, while one bill also wants to legalize online gambling, the other expressly outlaws it. So, until the politicians make a decision, online activities continue unregulated.


Argentina is an entirely different story. This progressive country has always allowed all types of gambling activities, with the newer online forms falling seamlessly under this umbrella approach. What complicates matters slightly is that, like in the US, gambling laws are not centrally regulated, with each individual state responsible for setting the rules in its own area. Also, very few licenses have been granted to local companies, while internationally based businesses are operating freely.


Once hailed as Latin America’s answer to Las Vegas, Cuba was a gambling retreat in the early part of the twentieth century. But once Fidel Castro came into power, all of that stopped. All forms of gambling are forbidden, although illegal activity does still occur, both online and off, as this is difficult to accurately enforce. However, the fact that less than 50% of the population have internet access has limited the spread of online gambling considerably.

Why Legalize Online Gambling?


Online gambling and sports betting is unregulated in most Latin American countries.

Countries that allow online casino operators to run unregulated are getting the worst of both worlds: their citizens are still playing online and the international operators aren’t having to pay any taxes for the privilege of having access to their country. This also means citizens aren’t protected from fraud and online casinos aren’t held accountable for their actions.

Compare this situation to the online gambling market in the UK and you can see how much potential is being squandered. All forms of online gambling are legal in the UK, making it one of the most prosperous countries for gambling, with a gross gambling yield of £14.2 billion last year alone.

The tax money that the UK government receives from online gambling operators can be funneled back into the economy, going towards community funding for education, road maintenance, police services and more. This means that the online gambling market is directly benefitting the country, rather than just leeching off its citizens. And because the market is booming, there is no shortage of operators willing to jump through the government’s hoops to be a part of it.

Casinos must apply for a license to offer their services to UK customers. This makes it the best regulated online market. Licenses are also only issued to high quality online casino s , leading to fierce competition between only the best operators.

888 Casino is a very dominant operator that has worked hard to stand out in a competitive UK market by offering a world-class range of games, as well as providing a safe and regulated space for their players to enjoy their exciting online casino games.

What does the Future hold?

We’ve already mentioned that Brazil is considering amendments to its gambling laws, and Peru is another Latin American country looking into the legalization of online gambling, albeit rather slowly.

Many other countries haven’t changed their laws around the legalization of gambling in the last 20 to 30 years and don’t seem keen to revisit them, even though they still don’t cover online gambling. Until countries do, it seems that the online market will continue to flourish outside of the law, with players being offered little protection from rogue operators and the government’s taxable expenditure slipping away overseas.